On October 5, three attorneys from Tilleke & Gibbins’ dispute resolution group in Bangkok—associate Anyamani Yimsaard, counsel Suruswadee Jaimsuwan, and partner Thawat Damsa-ard—met with Judge Paopun Chopnamtaan, the vice secretary of Thailand’s Courts of Justice, to offer their comments on a proposed new system of recording witness testimony in the criminal court in Thailand.
The current practice for creating a record of witness testimony in Thai courts is for the judge to speak a summary of the witness’ courtroom statements into an audio recorder for a court clerk to transcribe. The transcription is then read for all parties and the witness to confirm the accuracy of the content. The courts are in the process of replacing this practice with a system of recording witnesses’ courtroom testimony on video.
The dispute resolution lawyers’ feedback was sourced mostly from the department’s most recent internal training session. They commented on the pros and cons of the program and shared their experiences with similar systems elsewhere, such as Singapore and the UK. The judge welcomed the input, and looked forward to considering how to apply their suggestions so that the proposed procedural changes can answer various stakeholders’ needs.